Life as a bespoke suit tailor in Pretoria is fabulous, and challenging at the same time. Welcome to my personal blog, from bespoke suits to trends in men’s fashion and…
Living like a cave man
My cousin and I, along with another friend, recently attempted to hike up Ifidi pass in the Drakensberg. The hike was probably my most intense yet, with a lot of thoughts and feelings along the way. My cousin Ruth just published this video on the saga on her YouTube channel.
The past two months have been fun sorting out The Green Tailor and getting some glam new clothes. But it’s also been hard to see other parts of my business falling further and further apart as I realize that my own personal energy was the only thing keeping them going.
I’m so grateful I got this chance to go to the Drakensberg, with its eerie peaceful grandeur that envelops my whole being the moment I see those mountains from far off. The Drakensberg is also my personal nemesis. The combination of altitude, climate and slope anywhere on that range always manages to defeat me. I’m constantly short of breath, hearing my legs scream in agony with every step and feeling nauseously uncomfortable from my own sweat and dirt. Add to this that Ifidi pass was snowed closed and we had to turn around after hiking for two days to get there. And my cousin fell pretty badly and dislocated her shoulder. The entire experience would seem, on its surface, absolutely dreadful.
Yet I wish I were back there! Closing my eyes I can see myself trudging through bushes and scrambling over rocks. Sleeping in a tent and cooking on a fire. Since starting The Green Tailor I’ve faced a barrage of emotions, (exacerbated by quiting smoking at the same time) which I’ve realized are strikingly similar to my experiences when hiking.
Just get a job
Why would anyone willingly leave the comfort of civilization to trapes up a rather dangerous mountain, leaving all the accomplishments of humanity behind? To see the view? Have you heard of google earth? And who gives a shit about that view anyway? There are thousands of spectacular views accessible by car, often including cocktails and refined music.
Every day I battle an incessant wave of pessimism crashing against my vision, uttering the same discouragements that I hear when hiking: Why the hell are you even doing this? Imagine Ruth had fallen differently and broken her neck? You obviously haven’t prepared properly. You made far easier money in academia. Are you really so shallow that you think people need more clothes? Why don’t you work this hard on something worth while? And on and on it goes…
I love hiking
With only 2.5 years of business behind me, I don’t really know what’s going on most of the time. And after 28 years of life I’m probably more confused now than when I was a kid and couldn’t figure out how my dad controlled the car’s indicators.
What I can say is that I’ve seen enough of fashion and life to know that we all have our own compulsions. Whether it’s kicking a ball through a rectangle or reading about space colonies, collecting virtual animals with our phones or making dresses that only get worn once, we are all pulled through life by our inner selves. That part of us that must walk up the Drakensberg just to walk back down again.
I can’t really say why I love tailoring so much, or what possible contribution I could make to the world with it, and the question frustrates me to exhaustion. But in the end I know I have no choice but to hike up that beautiful mountain range that I love so much.
If only in the hopes of finding some small secret part of myself.
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